Teach­ers find it ‘dif­fi­cult to cope’

Warn­ing to coun­cil­lors over ed­u­ca­tion cuts

Dumfries & Galloway Standard - - NEWS - Stephen Tem­lett

Con­cerns have been raised that teach­ers are strug­gling to cope with de­mands in class­rooms.

The wor­ries were aired dur­ing the chil­dren, young peo­ple and life­long learn­ing com­mit­tee as the ser­vice is due to burst its bud­get by more than £800,000.

Act­ing ed­u­ca­tion di­rec­tor Gil­lian Bryd­son said monthly meet­ings are be­ing held with fi­nance of­fi­cers and an ac­tion plan is be­ing drawn up to “bring those bud­gets back un­der con­trol”.

How­ever Julie Irv­ing, the pri­mary teacher rep­re­sen­ta­tive for the com­mit­tee, has warned of the con­se­quences of fur­ther sav­ings.

She said: “We’ve al­ready been faced with lots of cuts across pri­mary and se­condary schools.

“Staff are find­ing it in­creas­ingly dif­fi­cult to cope with the de­mands in class­rooms due to sup­port staff hav­ing been cut. We’ve got more and more chil­dren with com­plex needs in class­rooms with­out ap­pro­pri­ate sup­port.

“Staff are do­ing their very, very best but I have to hold my hands up and say we are strug­gling as a pro­fes­sion.

“I ap­pre­ci­ate cuts are com­ing from West­min­ster and it’s not a Dum­fries and Gal­loway agenda but I’ve got real con­cerns ex­clu­sion rates are go­ing to be­gin to in­crease again sim­ply be­cause we can’t cope with the de­mands in the class­room.

“My plea is can you look re­ally, re­ally care­fully to some­how find a way to sup­port us with this be­cause ev­ery­one is need­ing it.”

When the com­mit­tee last met in Septem­ber, it had been told the over­spend was likely to be around £452,000 but of­fi­cials had found ways to tackle the prob­lem so a breakeven pre­dic­tion was ex­pected.

How­ever, in his re­port cor­po­rate ac­coun­tancy boss Colin Pent­land re­vealed that “pres­sures have con­tin­ued to in­crease” with the over­spend now pre­dicted to be £841,000. Place­ments for chil­dren and ad­di­tional costs for Dal­beat­tie Learn­ing Cam­pus have played their part in the over­spend.

Coun­cil­lor Richard Brodie said: “Bud­gets seem to be un­der ex­treme pres­sure here. Years and years of cuts are re­ally hit­ting home now.

“This doesn’t bode well for the up­com­ing bud­get setting process. I think we’ve got to be putting pres­sure on the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment

to sup­port ed­u­ca­tion ser­vices across the coun­try and fo­cus less on their own ini­tia­tives at na­tional level be­cause we’re not de­liv­er­ing the ba­sics here.”

Com­mit­tee chairman Jeff Leaver said: “COSLA’s po­si­tion is lo­cal gov­ern­ment need to be funded fairly and they’re lob­by­ing the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment very hard to make sure we do get a sub­stan­tial in­crease in the bud­get to tackle the problems iden­ti­fied af­ter years of cuts.”

Bud­get isues Act­ing ed­u­ca­tion di­rec­tor Gil­lian Bryd­son and Coun­cil­lor Jeff Leaver

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.